Week 15: at Baltimore Ravens
Packers 24, Ravens 27
Biggest storyline: Is this a potential Super Bowl matchup?
Baltimore has had a highly successful team since drafting QB Lamar Jackson in 2018. The Ravens won the AFC North his first two seasons and were the runner-up to the Steelers last season.
Despite claiming playoff berths for the last three seasons, Baltimore has failed to make it past the divisional round with Jackson.
Could this be the year they finally get over the hump?
Baltimore is a huge threat to the Packers, though the AFC team may not have a direct effect on Green Bay’s playoff hopes or seeding.
Between a dynamic Lamar Jackson, who can attack on land or in air, an elite receiving corps consisting of Rashod Bateman, Marquise Brown, and Sammy Watkins, and second-year RB JK Dobbins, I expect the Ravens’ offense to come at Green Bay full force.
Baltimore’s defense was a top-10 unit in the league in allowed yards, allowed points, and DVOA last season. Their defense is ranked fourth in the league by CBS Sports going into the 2021 season.
Week 16 vs. Cleveland Browns
Browns 27, Packers 35
Biggest storyline: How will the Packers fare against the new-look Browns?
This game should be the perfect gift to Packers’ fans everywhere. A home Christmas Day matchup against a resurrecting organization will hopefully be the perfect storm of entertainment and ease.
The Browns are not a team to laugh off anymore. They fought hard in the AFC North last season to tie the Ravens for second in the division. Cleveland earned a wild-card spot in the playoffs where they defeated their division winner, Pittsburgh, in the first round.
A healthy QB Baker Mayfield and second-year head coach Kevin Stefanski have clearly done something right to turn this team around, and they’re not to be underestimated.
But the Packers are in a rhythm of greatness right now. Who’s to say if the Browns can repeat their past season’s success?